About 18 months ago, I wrote on the topic of Sex Robots and what are the potential issues that might arise (article here). Recently a news article came out, where young women are turning towards AI boyfriends (article here).

I thought it might be a good time to write an update and be more explicit in my 'prediction' of the future.

Loneliness and social isolation, which has been around for a long while, but brought up to the mindspace of many during the COVID Pandemic, was declared by WHO as health risks. Immediately, humanity will turn to technology and Artificial Intelligence to solve this. Given the proliferation of smartphones, better broadband, cheap data plans, 'e-friends' can now be delivered to the "lonely-s" almost immediately. With a few questions answered, the (almost-)perfect friend is born and ready to chat. And who is to say the "e-friend" cannot be converted to a e-romantic partner? And pushing this a bit further, who is to say you cannot have many (electronic) romantic relationships if that is the case and pushing it even further, one does not have to hide the other romantic relationship with other e-romantic partners. Sounds like the perfect world for individuals who love the polyamorous world.

Compare this to the past say 30 years ago, where analog is the king and television was the best source of entertainment. To cure loneliness, especially the socially akward, they have to step out of their comfort zone to meet people. Followed by chatting to find common and interesting topics to talk abt, taking time and brain power to find good friends. When good friends are found, there is still the journey to undertake together that are bound to be littered with heated or minor arguments and when that happens, effort has to be made to placate and sooth in order to continue the friendship. Similarly for romantic partners. Time is needed to find out and woo, working through breakups that can be bad and not forgetting the arguments and heated discussion along the way.

I'll pause here. As humans evolves and has an increasing tendency for instant gratification, which scenario has a strong attraction now?

Immediate Risks

So what are the possible immediate risks? Three of them that I felt the regulators should start working on. Addictions, Data privacy and mass production of influence.


With any new technology that are especially engaging and consistently giving out dopamine hit, chances are high that addictions will occur! If you are in good company of friends, time passes so fast and you'll wish that the ambience, atmosphere to continue and do not even feel sleepy right? If these addictions continue to be fested, the human users career, life and future can be destroyed.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is the first issue I can think of. As these digital friends and romantic partners proliferate, more personal and innermost thoughts are going to be shared. The inhibitions are almost non-existent as most people feels that these digital friends and romantic partners has no interaction with the "outside world". With that in mind, companies creating and selling these digital friends and romantic parnters have access to potentially damaging information. Will these users have their conversation protected and secured? Chances are high these companies do not have security in place and potentially becomes a goldmine for hackers to gain privileged information. And if I were to push these scenario further, politicians and the like could be blackmailed and manipulated.

Mass Production of Influence

Think about it, the same digital friends and romantic partners (with different skins and faces) can be tapped on to sell influence and propanganda on a large scale! The human user can be influence to take up disinformation and misinformation, and not forgetting being emotionally blackmail if the human user does not take certain actions dictated by these digital friends and romantic partners.

These digital friends and romantic partner can be deployed by the company's country of origin to perform espionage to extract more information and compromise public office holders, pushing international agenda, or extending international influence.

Given the low barrier of entry right now, country regulators should quickly think about how to govern the use of these AI friends and romantic partners as soon as possible.

Long-Term Risk

Since the last article on Sex Robots, I have been sharing that there is actually an existential risk but it will take a long time to occur. What is that?

Humanity need to pro-create in order to continuously have the homo sapiens species or similar in this universe. For that to occur, currently at least till we are able to create mechanical wombs, human - human pairing needs to occur i.e. a man and woman has to come together. For this pairing to occur, there will definitely be phase of wooing and all the frustration, bad emotions that comes with any relationship and living together.

Now it is a matter of time, we can transfer the personality of romantic partners from software and implanting it into a robot with the perfect body anyone desires from head and face all the way to toe. And its body and sex rythm can be tuned to your desire. With that in mind, it is a matter of time a lot more people will prefer a human - machine pairing over a human - human pairing. This can result in a drop in population which can lead to a whole other set of economic issues for a country later on. And if the trend were to continue, humanity may end with the dying of the last man or woman albeit slowly. This is the slowly developing existential risk I am referring to.


I feel that authorities and government should start regulating before these realistic chatbots may result in negative consequences that is very difficult to recover from as we use to deal with loneliness pandemic and social isolation.

And from a long term perspective, socialisation between humans should still be encouraged as far as possible.

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